Category Archives: Marriage Equality

To Whom Do Children Belong? How Same-Sex Marriage Threatens Parental Rights

Same-sex marriage further encourages the state to encroach on the domain of that indispensable pre-political community, the family. The first in a two-part series.

Source: To Whom Do Children Belong? How Same-Sex Marriage Threatens Parental Rights

Another Comment and I’ll Stop

America was founded by way of civil disobedience, on a foundation of the belief that we, as free people, have the right and the responsibility to act according to our consciences, and that that right and responsibility was given to us by our Creator, and that it cannot truly be taken away, but only illegitimately abridged. Kim Davis defied a court order and was penalized. This is the way of civil disobedience. It went as it had to go.

You may agree or disagree with her actions or her reasons. But let us please notice not whose side we are on, but that we cheer civil disobedience when we like the cause, and condemn it when we do not. Let us admit that she is a civil disobedient and that, whether or not  we like her cause, she deserves the respect of someone who has stood up under punishment because of her convictions.

And let us take note that defying what one sees as oppressive governmental power and being punished is an honorable thing. A thing many, many of us will be confronted with in the future. Your “unlawful law” will be the law of the land one day.

Were you simply glad she went to jail because “she disobeyed the law?” Then what do you think about people who defied unjust laws under slavery or the Nazi regime or segregation? They disobeyed the law.  Do you condemn them too?

Are we to condemn anyone who “disobeys the law?” What happens when the law is lawless, ungodly, or fundamentally  unjust?

Comments on Jailing County Clerks

I do not know enough about the case to comment on whether Kim Davis’ actions were the best possible. Maybe this could have played out differently in a hundred ways. But the nuances of her judgments have now been made irrelevant.

A person in the United States of America has been sent to prison for asserting that her duties as a county employee (duties which federal edict has recently changed on her) run counter to her understanding of her state’s law, the will of her electors, and God’s law.

A person in the U.S. is now in jail for opting not to participate  in new federal law which she reads as illegitimate and immoral. There is nothing new here; many CO’s and civil disobedients have gone before. Unhappy consequences have always accompanied those who have walked that path.  It’s part of the package. But we need to pay attention.

Here is the most important, most obvious and most ignored aspect of this incident. An unknown county clerk from a location of small note has been piled on, vilified, and ruined. It has been done heavy-handedly, ruthlessly, relentlessly, callously…and publicly, for literally all the world to see.

Why are we hearing about her at all, in a news landscape which includes a presidential front-runner who everyone agrees has violated the law and compromised national security but who is still campaigning without consequence; several major cities declaring themselves “sanctuary cities”, where, in violation of federal law, illegal aliens receive protection  from their crimes, no matter how heinous and numerous, and our White House administration applauds?

Where a president defies or applies laws of the land according to his own preference, rather than in obedience to legitimate legal process, and no one orders him to prison. It so happens his preferences are the most popular ones among the cool set.

Why is this unknown private citizen made an object of tar and feather but to be made an example? Do we ask who arranges such a spectacle, or why?

Our society is in a bad place. Lowly county clerks are savaged publicly and sent to prison for small acts of civil disobedience. There is insatiable appetite for the destruction of strangers just like you and me. And we accomplish it all from our easy chairs or our smartphones, secure in our anonymity and our blamelessness.

We Christians like to think we are no respecters of persons, but I think we prefer to support a fellow believer only when he or she presents with a more acceptable public profile. Sorry, the unfortunates who are going to be selected for public shaming in our new society won’t be the pretty ones. That’s how our haters roll.

Even if she was a foolish misguided person, tilting at windmills and dying on the wrong hills, does her crime deserve such utter condemnation?

Some of the most common comments from those celebrating, and also from many who are spiritual kin:

“She coulda just quit her job.”

And maybe Rosa Parks shoulda just stopped riding buses and remembered her place. Maybe Ghandi shoulda just left India and let the British continue their governance. Maybe Martin Luther King shoulda just moved up north and kept his nose out of the southern states’ business. Maybe colored people should have just eaten their lunches at their own restaurants. Maybe Lincoln should have adopted a policy of live and let live toward the slave-holding states.

There are at least two problems with the advice to sidestep the issue and find a new line of work.

Sidestepping the issue is not the way of civil disobedience. Sidestepping leaves the hard work for someone else.  Sidestepping is accommodation. Civil disobedience is carried out by people of conviction because they are confronted with a wrong which they cannot ignore until they do their best to set right in a just manner. At personal cost. Some like Ms. Davis simply refuse to participate. We used to applaud and honor those who allowed suffering into their lives in order to bring about a more just society.

And we should all just find new careers each time we run counter to the state? Get used to job-hopping.

“…what she actually did is defy the Word of God by breaking both the law of the land and the rules of the workplace.” And more declarations which put obeying our employers on equal footing with obeying Scripture. Please explain?  Are workplace rules absolute and eternal?

“I agree with her position but if she couldn’t perform her job, she should have resigned.”

So do we agree then that all government positions, all civil servant jobs should be held by people who have self-declared that they will obey no higher authority than the state? That persons who might find themselves charged with performing any duty which might violate their consciences should stay out of civil employment?

That we prefer people who do not have issues with those pesky consciences to fill all our government and civil positions?

Your Sister is in Jail

I guess we want to leave all value and moral judgments in the public sphere to people who self-declare that they honor no higher authority than the state?

Glass Planet

But Peter and the apostles replied, “We must obey God rather than any human authority…”

The ink was barely dry on U.S. District Judge David Bunning’s order sending Kentucky county clerk Kim Davis to jail for following in the apostles’ footsteps, obeying God rather than man before the Minutemen of the “me too! I’m good just like you!” faction of Christ’s Holy Church took to the interwebs to declare their solidarity with the pitchfork waving mob. It is not my purpose to go down any of the gazillions of rabbit trails, logical and otherwise that sprout like toadstools across the manure-rich landscape of social media after the rain of such schadenfreude laden storms. Lots of people have all the time in the world to enjoy their ideologically drunken bar fights, thump their chests in worldwide anonymity and go to bed more convinced than ever of their extreme righteousness. God bless…

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The Ambiguous Quest for Marriage Equality

In The Ambiguous Quest for Marriage Equality, Adam Macleod puts into coherent words something I have been thinking about how to say. It’s nice when someone much smarter does that for you.

Alternate versions of marriage to the traditional heterosexual one can only exist as alternatives to the standard.  If the standard erodes away, or is legislated out of existence, those marriages also will disintegrate. Please read.

We sometimes destroy that which we seek.

The Ambiguous Quest for Marriage Equality.

There Is a Fundamental Right to Marriage, and We Must Preserve It

In my post ,Manifesto: The Primal Creation, I suggested that the one-flesh marriage relationship is foundation to all other relationships and communities, and that it was not a human construct.  Here is an enlightening essay by Adam J. MacLeod along similar lines.

“The rights and duties of marriage and biological parentage (to which Kent added sanctity of conscience) are even more directly fundamental than civil rights. They are among those divine and natural rights and duties that positive law merely recognizes, does not create, and may not alter.”

There Is a Fundamental Right to Marriage, and We Must Preserve It.

The Whole World is Delusional and Blind

It’s been a very bad week for popular culture in America. The two top pieces of interest: Josh Duggar and Bruce Jenner. Where do I catch the rocket to Mars?

In neither case is there anybody lookin’ pretty.  Sorry, Bruce.

To all of you saying things like, “You go girl! You look amazing!” I suggest finding the nearest sixty-five year old man and taking a good look. Then tell me honestly that you could jedi mind-trick yourself into believing he was now really, really a hot and glamorous lady.

For all the Photoshop, CG and surgery, you still need to force your mind to do the switch, like the rabbit/duck optical illusion. And that’s what millions are apparently doing.

I do not fault the Duggars for their many children. Having more than two children today in first-world culture requires a kind of actual bravery which few possess or even want. Nor do I criticize their desire to live a home-oriented, traditionally Biblical lifestyle.

But someone took a very bad road when they signed up for the sort of public scrutiny inherent in becoming reality show stars, and took their minor children along for the ride. I guess someone naïve to the point of a vegetative state might have thought that this would be good PR for Christianity.  Because a positive media image is definitely the only thing we need to bring those millions into the kingdom.

I think those parents were forgetting some fundamental apologetics. We are all sinners. The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure. Who can understand it?….There is none righteous, no, not one.

You may be sure that your sin will find you out.

Did they forget the depth of our depravity? Or did they think they and their children were immune?

All parents are commissioned to make their homes into a place which is safe, private, intimate; a place where loving ,learning, and discipling takes place naturally and un-self-consciously. That calling comes well before the responsibility to “be salt and light” in the questionable manner that the Duggars have chosen.

These children had no chance of a normal childhood. They were burdened with extraordinary pressures to be public representatives of Christianity in real time, in their own home. The world their parents invited in was undeniably hostile to their children, their way of life, their beliefs, their God.

The world was eagerly waiting for one of them to sin.

Yes, to sin, that retro word;  to break a code they themselves care nothing about. The world  wants Christians to sin, to fail to uphold our own beliefs, to violate our God’s commands. Then they can call faithfulness to God irrelevant.

Did the parents think it wouldn’t happen?

Did they forget that young people not yet in possession of self-control (even assuming adults attain such a state) would be under that scrutiny? Did they think they could cover up natural human depravity with cameras rolling? Or did they expect the world to forgive and forget?

The utter glee which greeted the news of Duggar’s history was palpable. Now the popular media and its devotees are going to expose and shame the victims for everyone’s entertainment.

It’s Biblical Christianity which teaches us that we are naturally self-seeking and prone to choosing exactly the wrong road. We cannot forget this, ever.

That the only remedy for our problem is in Christ: repentance, forgiveness, dying to self, reckoning ourselves dead to sin but alive in our identification with Christ.  He took the penalty for our sin; we owe him our lives. Our lives are hidden in His. It’s very humbling.

I think those parents forgot  who we are, who we represent, and especially who our lives belong to.

There is no one coming out of this pretty. The alternative Christian media culture is a ghetto, a separate subculture on the margin of the larger outrageous cesspool culture.  We promote our own media stars. There’s this phenomenon: the woman who’s written an inch-deep “book” (which is usually a paragraph of actual substance and a lot of padding) who we make into a fount of wisdom with a DVD study complete with 90’s style camera coolness.

The poor imitation that the “safe” Christian media dishes out operates in precisely the same way that the secular media does: manufacture stars and teachers who tickle our ears, hype and promote, sell and sell.  Shame on us for feeding at the trough.

But if we can just get the kids at the cool lunch table to notice us, maybe we can bring one person to Christ!!

And let’s be honest. Although one spectacle is supposedly cheered with words which approach worship, and the other spectacle is enduring the fire and brimstone of popular opinion, both are regarded as nothing more than  grotesque circus sideshows in the daily lives of most people.


The Right to Define Marriage

Who has the right to define marriage?

This is the real question that our society is struggling with now, not who gets to be married, or even what marriage is.

Don’t we need to ask who created marriage? Is it a human construct or a divine one? To those of us who believe that God invented marriage, the question is easily answered.

God has all right to define marriage because He is the author of it;  marriage was created to carry out His purpose; marriage was designed by Him for our benefit but ultimately for His glory.

He has complete and total right to all glory and honor. And He has the perfect right to be the object of the glory and purpose of the thing we call marriage, and of our own marriages.

When we debate, agitate, and activate over who has the right to be married, our struggle is really about wresting marriage away from its Creator and Owner. It’s about grasping it for ourselves and making it what we want it to be to suit our own purposes. But like a child who’s stolen a shiny, precious and fragile treasure in order to play with it, we’re likely to break it into a million pieces, turning it into an unrecognizable mess.

Marriage as many people in our culture define it today has little in common with the marriage that God designed.  As a result, its purposes are starkly different, as are its results. What are the  purposes hoped for by those who have redesigned marriage? The results remain to be seen but we have future echoes already.

God created human beings with attributes like himself, hence “after His image”. The longer you reflect on the nature of God’s relationship with people, the attribute of free will stands out ever bolder. You come to see how gracious God is toward us, and how far He goes to honor His creation, us.

God will never violate our free will under any circumstances; whether we honor or abuse it, it is  irrevocable. He honors the free will He gave so much so that He allows us to turn our backs on Him; so precious is it when we choose for Him, acknowledge our lives belong to Him, and respect His will before our own.

The choices are always freely ours. Think how much power we have. We always have the right to choose.

In our freedom, we have traveled far toward DIY Marriage. We have constructed and demolished and reconstructed marriage many times in order to make it what we want it to be. After we have remade marriage according to the newest blueprints, what do you think we will have in the future that our culture calls marriage?

We ought to choose thoughtfully whose right it is to define marriage. We will have to live with those million pieces and God will not erase the mess. That mess will speak to our willfulness, our impotence, our self-centeredness; but it will also speak to God’s righteousness, His perfection, and His patience. Even that mess will testify on God’s behalf.

But the precious gift we are deconstructing will become a curse to many innocents. The mess we have made hurts real men, women and children, and will for a very long time.  If we define God’s true marriage out of existence, our children, grandchildren and theirs will be denied the option.

Are we certain that our design is better?

What are just a few elements we see in marriage as described in the Bible?

Unity and Identification: Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh. Genesis 2: 24

Sexual equality: But because of the temptation to sexual immorality, each man should have his own wife and each woman her own husband. The husband should give to his wife her conjugal rights, and likewise the wife to her husband. For the wife does not have authority over her own body, but the husband does. Likewise the husband does not have authority over his own body, but the wife does. Do not deprive one another…I Corinthians 7

Mutual submission: Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife even as Christ is the head of the church, his body, and is himself its Savior. Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit in everything to their husbands.

Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her…In the same way husbands should love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. For no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as Christ does the church, … Ephesians 5

Unconditional love and selflessness: Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves. Romans 12

Likewise, husbands, live with your wives in an understanding way, showing honor to the woman as the weaker vessel, since they are heirs with you of the grace of life, so that your prayers may not be hindered. I Peter 3:7

Let no debt remain outstanding, except the continuing debt to love one another, for whoever loves others has fulfilled the law. Romans 12

Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins.   I Peter

Faithfulness, Compassion, Purpose:  

You cover the Lord‘s altar with tears, with weeping and groaning because he no longer regards the offering or accepts it with favor from your hand. But you say, “Why does he not?” Because the Lord was witness between you and the wife of your youth, to whom you have been faithless, though she is your companion and your wife by covenant. Did he not make them one, with a portion of the Spirit in their union? And what was the one God seeking? Godly offspring. So guard yourselves in your spirit, and let none of you be faithless to the wife of your youth. “For the man who does not love his wife but divorces her, says the Lord, the God of Israel, covers his garment with violence, says the Lord of hosts. So guard yourselves in your spirit, and do not be faithless.”  Malachi 2

Are we so certain that our design is better?